God’s Righteous Judgment
Today’s reading: Psalm 10-12; Acts 17:16-34
13 Why does the wicked renounce God and say in his heart, “You will not call to account”? 14 But you do see, for you note mischief and vexation, that you may take it into your hands; to you the helpless commits himself; you have been the helper of the fatherless. 15 Break the arm of the wicked and evildoer; call his wickedness to account till you find none. Psalm 10:13-15
30 The times of ignorance God overlooked, but now he commands all people everywhere to repent, 31because he has fixed a day on which he will judge the world in righteousness by a man whom he has appointed; and of this he has given assurance to all by raising him from the dead.” Acts 17:30-31
The Psalmist analyzes the thought processes of the wicked who say, in essence, “God is not going to judge people.” They assume that God doesn’t know what is going on, but He does. They assume that He will not take action against their evil schemes, but He will. The idea of final judgment runs throughout the Bible. God is both holy and sovereign, so He must put right the injustice of man. God helps the fatherless and the weak and the poor. He hears their pleas and will bring full justice.
Paul in his sermon at the Areopagus in Athens, declares the existence of the God that they recognize as the “unknown god.” It seems like the Athenians wanted to cover all the bases. They had many idols, but, in case they had overlooked a god, they added this one for good measure. Paul tells them about the God who is Creator and Sustainer of life. He is the God who cannot be contained in a temple, indeed He is infinite. He is the God who needs nothing and depends on nothing and no one else for His existence. He is not distant and aloof but will judge the world in righteousness on the appointed day by a man whom He has raised from the dead, namely Jesus Christ.
Many in Athens proved to be like those who “renounce God” and say in their hearts, “You will not call to account…”. They mocked the idea that the Judge who is to come had risen from the dead, but God has promised to judge in perfect righteousness because He knows all things.
The judgment of God is not a popular doctrine even among many so-called believers today. Meanwhile, many sin boldly while others desperately seek a reason for life. Without a clear understanding of the judgment of God we will neither have a reason to live nor motivation to seek God’s forgiveness and to live in holiness before Him. Be sure you are clear on the judgment of God.